University Mapping Out Crime For Police Departments
California University of Pennsylvania has received a $208,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to establish a Crime Mapping Center. The center will be staffed by student volunteers and operated by the earth science planning club.
Although the Crime Mapping Center is new, students have worked the last few years with both the Brownsville and Uniontown police departments, and worked this semester as well with the Southwestern Police Department.
Through a deal with the departments, students can download call-for-service information, in which addresses, and not names, are included.
The reports reveal a spatial trend of crimes, and the Crime Mapping Center provides maps of overall and certain crimes such as assault, which gives police an idea where similar crimes are occurring.
With the software, the students can devise something known as a hot spot, which is based on a time period and the crime’s site, a grouping of points. With the mapping system, a hot spot that reveals a trend or a concentration of crimes can be seen.
The completed maps and reports can aid the police departments in keeping an eye on crimes.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Greensburg Tribune-Review (11/14/04) .